Open Table Tennis is a hypothetical proposal for a series of publicly installed ping pong tables. Two iterations are presented - one made from welded steel, and the other from solid granite. The installations are envisioned as cost-effective, durable, yet beautiful and engaging interactive public works.
Permanent installations which host social interaction, and which allow cities, corporations, and individuals to reinvest in their parks and plazas. The relationship between people and the city personified is defined by the quality of their interactions in public spaces. Is the city perceived as indifferent, domineering, or as an accommodating partner in work and play?
Open Table Tennis is a project about the unique challenge of designing for public spaces, and also an exercise in visualization and compositing.
The granite table takes an economical approach to the difficulties of designing for public spaces. Impossible to remove and difficult to vandalize. In greener settings, it's materiality will echo the wildness of its surroundings. Elsewhere, it will be an elegant reminder of those greener settings. Its monumental, monolithic presence will no doubt have an effect on the games it mediates. It's constructed from a block of granite inlaid with stainless steel. A powdercoated, waterjet cut steel sheet is bolted into its polished surface, standing in for a net.
The steel table is more accommodating. Its form takes after that of the classic folding ping pong table, substituting the complex, hinged squarestock for a thick, welded tube understructure. Its red paint protects it from the elements, but also recalls the modus operandi of Mark di Suvero, as well as monumental Torii. Its form and color impart simultaneously sporty and sacred impressions. It features hooks for hanging coats and bags, and a place to dock a ping pong paddle, for those waiting for the next game.